Knights of Columbus pledge $100,000 for families of Baltimore bridge collapse victims

Baltimore bridge victims Baltimore workers and relatives attend a press conference to honor families and victims of the March 26 collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge after it was struck by the container ship Dali, in Baltimore, Maryland, on March 29, 2024. | Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

The Knights of Columbus recently pledged a six-figure donation toward a Church-sponsored relief fund for families of workers killed in the collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The fraternal organization said on its website that its board of directors “voted during a recent meeting to contribute $100,000 to a relief fund run by the Archdiocese of Baltimore for families who lost loved ones and livelihoods” in the collapse of that bridge. 

The bridge, which first opened in 1977, was largely destroyed last month after a container ship struck it in the early morning hours of March 26. Six construction workers lost their lives in the collapse, while several other individuals were injured. 

Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly noted in the announcement that the founder of the Knights, Blessed Michael McGivney, created the organization in 1882 “to support widows and orphans.” 

“So it was only natural that, upon learning of the death of six road workers — husbands and fathers from the Catholic Hispanic community — we were moved to join with the Church in Baltimore in providing aid to their widows and orphans,” Kelly said. 

The Catholic Review, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, said that the relief fund — which was established by the archdiocese and is being administered at the parish level — has received about $70,000 in addition to the Knights’ donation. Another related fund has received $25,000 in donations. 

The deceased bridge workers, who hailed from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, had been filling potholes on the bridge at the time of the disaster. 

Last week the Sacred Heart of Jesus-Sagrado Corazón de Jesús Parish in the city’s Highlandtown neighborhood hosted a large prayer service in honor of the deceased workers, the Catholic Review reported.

Archbishop William Lori told the newspaper that the local Church has demonstrated a “beautiful” display of both material and spiritual help to the families of the deceased workers. 

“It’s the accompaniment because these wives and moms and children have lost their husbands and fathers in the most tragic way, and we just have to surround them with love,” Lori said.

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